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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

228        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

magnanimity and temperance and the assurance which knows
no fear. With such teaching would Montaigne complete the
education of his own pupil.

4. THE NEW MOVEMENT IN ENGLAND

In consequence of the economic and social backwardness of
England, the secular tendency was rather slower to make itself
felt in education there than in France. The new learning had
indeed made a more rapid progress, as the number of distinguished
scholars who gathered round Sir Thomas More at the beginning
of the Sixteenth Century plainly shows. The great Erasmus,
Thomas Linacre, the scholarly physician who brought the
Renaissance learning to England, Dean Colet, the founder of the
new school of St. Paul's, Chancellor Fisher, the founder of the
first humanist college in Cambridge and in England—to name but
a few of those who met at More's house in Chelsea—formed a
group with scarcely a peer in Europe. But while the humanistic
studies in the schools and universities advanced quickly and
surely under the impulse given by these men, the development of
the broader humanism beyond the sphere of literary scholarship
was more tardy. The first step in that direction was taken by
Sir Thomas Elyot (1490-1546), the son of one of More's friends
and a pupil of Linacre's, in 'The Boke named the Gpvernour,
published in 1531. Elyot was at once an officer of state and a
scholar, as well versed in Italian works like Castiglione's Courtier
as in the writings of Erasmus ; and the width of his experience
and reading shows itself in his book. He was still very definitely
a humanist, but his humanism was the new humanism of his
Italian contemporaries rather than the older humanism of
Erasmus. This is evident in the very fact that his book is written
in English and not in Latin: the first book on education to be so
written. It is evident again in the conviction that the prime aim
of education is to fit the governing classes for their duties as
•servants of the State. It is true that he followed Erasmus very
closely in regard to details of method and curriculum, yet even
here there was a notable difference. Like Vives—also, it will be
remembered, a disciple of Erasmus—he advocated the education
of women, the use of the mother tongue in learning Latin and